Being still sick with this flu, I spent most of this day in an almost meditative haze.
As in, I meditated heavily upon my follow-up to this entry.
And this is what came up:
Who bows to whom?
We are both switches, you see.
But I don’t know if He is talking about the relationship between He and Odin
… or if He is talking about the relationship between Himself and me.
The first thing that came up in my email feed was this powerful video post from a blog I follow:
and how the poet has allowed words to separate him – how words separate us all – from facing each other in love.
That post was followed within moments by Jolene Poseidonae’s post on how ‘the heart must go first. [and] The brain may follow’ **
What I took from these two posts was to mean was that I have allowed this little writing project of mine to limit myself in my words already.
I promised to write and yet I have allowed the words to separate Loki and I from each other.
He doesn’t really care what words I use, as long as I write the truth of the story.
And the truth of the story is difficult for me to admit to because it requires a certain amount of writing with an openness and eye towards vulnerability that I am not used to.
I have begged Him to take me deeper and yet it has been the words that have always separated us.
When I taught other kinksters about words as ordeal and how words can make thoughts manifest –
How with the use of words alone, one can create powerful connections!
I was also acutely aware of the concept that Gage Wallace speaks of concerning about how the distance between lovers can be created just as easily — created by the words on the tiny screen of an iPhone.
Words can bring together and words can separate. Names, titles, concepts, aspects….do they matter?
Well, it all matters just as much as it doesn’t matter, because words have a fluidity of meaning and power than is entirely dependent upon context and meaning.
We give words the power they have, and yet once they are said, or heard, their power becomes dependent upon others’ understanding of meaning and context.
Whether one is having a conversation or an argument, words are means by which access is given to thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
We connect with our words. We encourage with our words. We open up to others with our words.
But we can also wound with our words. We can shut down connection with words. We can separate ourselves from others with labels, titles, names, designations. We can lie, confuse, obfuscate meaning. We can hide behind our words.
Words can open and words can limit.
When Loki first came to me, almost from the beginning, I wanted to know Who He was.
And He wouldn’t tell me.
So I put words on Him:
But I realize that Loki encompasses all of these words…and yet, none of these words.
**I love that last line, by the way. It is a perfect description of where my devotional practice with Loki seems to be going this month. I was equally tempted to use those words as the title for today’s post.
After an amazing 6 day trip to Arizona, I returned home on 28 June.
On 30 June, I attended a concert with my husband, V, to see the metal band, In This Moment perform at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando.
It was an enjoyable concert.
In This Moment’s singer Maria Brinks conveys a rather powerful stage presence that pairs incredibly well with her band’s heavy chord driven sound and passionate heavy metal lyrics. As well, Maria struck me as a consummate show-woman in that there was a theatrical and choreographic quality to her band’s show that was quite reminiscent of Lady Gaga in several ways that I hadn’t expected.
But it wasn’t until their final encore that Brinks’ message hit me in full force.
The song – ‘Whore’ – I later discovered is a song that In This Moment often performs as an encore.
Brinks’ speech that opened the song began with an intonation of John 8:7, thusly:
So when they continued asking Him, He lifted Himself up and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
This was followed by Brinks approaching center stage, wherein she spoke a litany of words
Stupid. Ugly. Useless. Unworthy.
(They would) call me – Whore.
I am (here to) take back the power of that word!….
(And since my device crapped out in the middle of things, here is a strikingly similar performance ^^^ from ITM’s San Francisco’s ‘Blood at the Orpheum’ in January 2014.)
Meanwhile, I stood in the audience, goosebumps rising on my skin, marveling over how Maria Brinks’ words resonated within me, as she spoke of her desire to reclaim the word, ‘whore.’**
Amidst cheers from the crowd, she continued on upon the importance of being unashamed of being who you are and what you represent.
She expressed the desire to inspire others to become secure in their sexuality, to be aware of their personal power…. and the power and freedom that is possible when we can come to be comfortable in our own skin.
Maria Brinks’ words struck me profoundly as I stood there considering how, just a few short years ago, such discussion of words like ‘whore’ would have dovetailed nicely into a ‘class’ I had taught several times concerning the inherent power of certain words to make thoughts and ideas manifest.
And how the reclaiming of certain loaded words could lead to spiritually cathartic work… in BDSM.
You see, a few short years ago – around the time when I re-discovered Loki’s presence in my life – I was teaching classes that concerned Words as Ordeal, and how words alone can create a very powerful intersection between spirituality and BDSM.
It was strangely evocative of my class on re-framing shame and transforming discomfort into spiritual energy.
Funny that I should be reminded of that particular portion of my personal history now.
** Frontwoman Maria Brink told Steppin’ Out magazine that despite its title, this is an empowering, beautiful song for women. She explained: “Everything that the word ‘whore’ means, that song rebels against. That song is sarcastic. It’s kind of about learning how to let go of the power that we let other people hold over us with their words with their belittling. Nobody can control us, nobody has the power…. kind of freeing ourselves from the vulnerable, weak parts of us.”
“When somebody calls you something demeaning or hurts you,” Brink added, “we’re the ones letting them hurt us by letting their words be that powerful. It’s about letting go. If you listen to the words: I am the dirt you created. I am your sinner. I am your whore, but let me tell you something — you love me for everything you hate me for. It’s all reverse psychology.”
Brink created the term Women Honoring One Another Rising Eternally to give new meaning away from the derogatory connotation of the “whore” word. “This is an honest and raw movement that needs to be heard,” she exclaimed. “The message behind this song is taking back control. It is about taking the power from a disgusting and degrading word and turning it back around on the accuser. It’s about self-empowerment, love, and liberation.”
Guitarist Chris Howorth added: “One of the best things about the song ‘Whore’ is all the feelings and thoughts that the word alone provokes, and that’s great, but at the end of the day, it’s just a word. The only power it really has is the power that we give it. It’s really just about taking the power back from the word…”
I saw this post in my media feed this morning and it got me thinking that I have this issue:
How often I almost reflexively blurt out ‘I’m sorry’ when I mean to say ‘Thank you.’
I hadn’t really thought out the issue, except that I have been made aware of my habit of apologizing for everything – even for qualities, occurrences, and behavior that require no apology.
A friend of mine -who oddly enough, has a degree in psychology even though she now works as an insurance adjuster for a corporate law firm – was the most recent person in my life to make me aware of my ‘sorry habit.’ She was always pointing out how much it concerned her that I would say ‘I’m sorry’ for the most mundane reasons, and she would often challenge me to attempt to go a whole day without saying ‘I’m sorry.’
And as much as I tried, I couldn’t do it.
She encouraged me to be mindful of my responses to various situations, and even though she tried hard to convey all the reasons why I should do it, she never put it quite as powerfully or as succinctly as this simple set of comic strips does:
If you want to say ‘Thank you’, don’t say ‘I’m Sorry’ (From the folks at Mental Floss)
This is just what I needed, and I found this article quite helpful.
Thank you for reading!
I saw this on a friend’s Facebook wall:
I find this sort of thing fascinating.
There’s something dark and delightful about these words; I want to know what the rest of the words are to this lullaby.
Was something lost in translation?
Perhaps there’s a metaphor or idiom conveyed here and its context has simply been lost.
I mean, call me odd, but I can see how ‘pig’ could almost be considered a term of endearment.
Baby pigs can be cute:
This is a black-eyed pig.
And this is referred to as the ‘teacup size’ of black-eyed pig.
See what I mean? *squeee!*
And lest we forget, there are cultures wherein pigs were considered very valuable. Most livestock was valued, but research shows that pigs may have been considered especially so in Scandinavian, Germanic, and Celtic culture.
As for Fall into a pit full of ghosts: perhaps the word spirit would be a better word choice to convey the intended meaning than ghosts, or even a word that connotes fairies or even dream-visions.
In short, there is no way to know the context or meaning of this fragment…
But I am having a good time pondering the interesting possibilities.
That being said, I can see how this might be comforting.